Nobody wants to go through a divorce, no matter what their parental or employment status happens to be. But for a parent who has stayed out of the workforce to raise children, the prospect of divorce can be especially terrifying. Unlike your working spouse, you don't have an immediate way to support yourself. You may also have a more limited support network than a spouse that spends most of their days with other adults. You need a plan, and you need it quickly. Take a look at some divorce tips for stay-at-home parents.
Investigate the Family Finances
It's vital that you know exactly what property and assets you and your spouse own, how much cash you have, what investments you have, and what debts you owe. If you're the partner that wants to file for divorce, and you haven't yet, then you can take some time to go through the family finances carefully. However, if your partner is the one who wants to leave, and he or she has already filed or declared their intention to, then you need to move quickly.
If the marriage is broken to the point the one or both of you is considering divorce, then you can't assume that your spouse has been honest with you about finances. Even if you participate in balancing the checkbook or paying the bills, there may still be things that you don't know. Make copies of any financial documents that you can lay your hands on. Applications for credit can be especially revealing because most people will list all their assets when trying to get approved. Other useful documents include tax returns, pay stubs, bills, deeds, and account statements. Save your copies in a safe place that your spouse doesn't have access to.
Make a Financial Plan
You need to figure out how you're going to pay for your and your children's living expenses going forward. Don't assume that the divorce will be financially beneficial to you – it likely won't be. While you may be entitled to child support if you retain custody, the concept of alimony is changing, and not in a way that necessarily benefits stay-at-home parents.
As marriage and divorce laws have changed, alimony guidelines have changed as well. Your spouse will likely be required to pay some alimony while the divorce is ongoing, but once it's over, all bets are off – what you receive depends on the state you live in and also on the judge that you get. Chances are good that the judge and the laws in your state will expect you to resume supporting yourself sooner rather than later. If you can show that you have a plan for reaching self-sufficiency, like returning to college or vocational school or earning certifications to update your skills, your lawyer may be able to argue that you should at least receive alimony until you've reached a point where you're more employable than you are now.
Ask For Help
You're going to need more than just money. Divorce is difficult emotionally and logistically as well as financially, and you need a support system. You'll need someone to talk to and a shoulder to cry on. If your children are small, you may need babysitters while you meet with your lawyer, go to school, or apply for jobs. You may need a place to stay or access to a car.
Reach out to family and friends. Join a support group, either in person or online, and meet members living in your area. Don't isolate yourself. You and another parent in a similar situation may be able to help each other, by trading off babysitting each other's children, for example. Divorce is one of the most stressful life events you can go through, and you shouldn't expect to be able to go it alone.
Finally, retain a good lawyer, like Eschbacher Law. As soon as you know you want a divorce, or as soon as you know your spouse wants a divorce, consult an experienced divorce attorney in your area. A stay-at-home parent is in a precarious position during a divorce, and you need a skilled lawyer to protect what's yours and fight for your rights.Share
11 May 2017
Adopting a child is a wonderful way to bring a child into your family and give a child that needs a home a loving environment to grow up in. Unfortunately, the adoption process is not easy to get through. If you fail to file one document, the adoption can be set back by months. This blog will show you what to expect as you work your way thorough the adoption process and give you a few ideas of the things that you should leave up to your family attorney. Hopefully, what I have learned through my two adoptions will help you get through yours with no issues.